WWCC-Pasco connection pays off again

By Jack Millikin, Herald staff writer May 15, 2009 

With all due respect to the Oakland Raiders, Walla Walla Community College has established its own commitment to excellence over the last several years.

The Warriors, who won the NWAACC men's championship in 2008, have no doubt benefited from the Pasco High pipeline, which has provided the team with a steady influx of players thanks to WWCC coach and Bulldogs graduate Chad Bodnar.

Since Bodnar began as a WWCC men's assistant in 2003, Pasco will have sent at least 12 players to play for the Warriors, beginning with Ricky Samaniego in 2004. Following him were Jason Schadler, Victor Perez and Frankie Licon in 2005; Julio Morales in 2006; and Bryce Wilson and Rocky Snyder in 2007.

Bodnar's latest recruiting coup out of Pasco may be his best yet, as he snatched up four Bulldogs from the Class of 2009, including two-time all-state selection Marco Acevedo along with All-CBBN honorees Brady Espinoza, Paul Herrera and Miguel Acevedo.

"With Bodnar over there, it makes it easier for me to send guys there, because I know they're in good hands," said Bulldogs coach Mike Pardini, another Pasco grad who has two state titles -- one as a player in 1999 and another as head coach in 2007

"Ultimately, the most important thing is to see them go on to a four-year university," Pardini added. "I don't know if anybody has a better track record of doing that (than Bodnar)."

Pardini is listed on the WWCC Web site as an assistant coach under Bodnar, but he says his work with the Warriors is limited mainly to recruiting. But as Pasco coach, he's careful not to limit his players' scope of any other colleges that might be interested.

"Chad will help me if I feel like there's somebody at that caliber who should be starting off at a four-year school," Pardini said. "He's usually the first guy I call if I need help with that."

WWCC won't be the only Walla Walla college to benefit from Pasco's talented pool of players, which has the Bulldogs ranked No. 1 in Washington and No. 2 in the nation according to the latest NSCAA/adidas poll. Midfielder Andrew Clark will play at Whitman College.

-- Pardini and the Pasco boys aren't giving too much credence to the Bulldogs' No. 2 ranking in the latest NSCAA/adidas nationwide poll.

"At the end of the day the rankings don't mean much," said Pardini, who led Pasco to a No. 4 national ranking after winning the 4A state title in 2007. "If you're in the rankings after the season is over, that's what you want."

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